I like it too, but I wonder about the ergonomics of having to reach that high for the VFO.
That's what I thought when I saw it. I think your arm would grow tired after a while spinning the high mounted VFO knob. I don't like the ergonomics at all.
I hadn't thought of that. It probably would wear out my arm.
Does anyone know of a cheaper knob interface than tmate2 that's got decent functionality? I've got a Griffin Powermate and that's just OK. What I liked about the Tmate is you can adjust bw and volume as well as VFO from that box. Still, ~$400 U.S. seems like a boatload of money for me for a set of knobs. You can acquire a decent rig for that price...
There is that Hercules DJ mixer port. It's not going to feature a nice display for frequency, but it certainly gives you knobs to spin and buttons to push..http://www.hamradioscience.com/control-powersdr-with-the-hercules-dj-control-mp3-e2/
Thing is, one of the important aspects of an SDR that drew me in is the ability to put the radio over there out of the way, and have the controls on a flat screen, which takes up little extra space on the shack desktop. More room for other clutter like soldering irons, hammers, etc. that don't play well with hardware radio panels. Of course, since the inception of CAT control software, one has been able to do this with a traditional radio, but still, the traditional full power radio itself takes up a lot more space than an SDR of equivalent performance. (well, some of them do.. I recently saw a photo of a desk featuring a FTDX 9000 Contest sharing space with a Flex 3000 and a FT-847. I think I could fit ALL of my radios and my underwear drawer in the 9000 cabinet with room to spare)
The idea of a more fleshed out "console" like the Elad 18 is an interesting prospect. Still, the VFO knob should be lower, maybe along the bottom edge, and the whole thing able to be adjusted down to touch the tabletop, like many PC monitor stands.
Maybe put a USB sound system in it as well, with a decent speaker along the sides. If Apple can make a MacBook Air sound like it does without any visible openings, certainly....